Tackling poverty in the region with the largest global inequality rates was the main theme of the 3rd Summit of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC). Leaders of
33 countries made a written commitment to eradicate extreme poverty and hunger in the region until 2025. A plan to achieving this goal was presented by José Graziano da Silva, from Brazil. He is the Director-General of the United Nations Organization for Food and Agriculture (FAO).
According to Graziano, this is an attainable goal that takes political will and support for the poorer countries in the region. In her address at the meeting on Wednesday (Jan. 28), President Dilma Rousseff mentioned Brazil’s example as a country that has made progress in combating extreme poverty and now, now, after 11 years of social policies, is no longer on FAO’s Hunger Map.
“We have set an income floor so all Brazilians should be above that threshold. We started paying supplementary income to [the poorest] households, and as a result, 22 million Brazilians have climbed out of extreme poverty over the past four years,” said Rousseff.
Despite this progress, Latin America and the Caribbean still have the highest global inequality rates. As Cuban President Raúl Castro pointed out, the numbers show a sad reality – 167 million people still live in extreme poverty. CELAC believes the key is to focus on policies for social inclusion.
Translated by Mayra Borges